'Cheated' GMR demands $800 mn from Maldives

Infrastructure company GMR Ltd is seeking compensation of around $800 million from the Maldives government after its $511 million contract to develop and modernise the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) in Male was abruptly cancelled.

GMR expects Maldives to compensate it on multiple counts. These include the debt incurred on taking up the project, loss of equity, profit, reputation and also damages to sub-contractors.

''We have sent a communication to the Maldives government seeking damages on various counts. We have estimated it to be at about $800 million. But we are yet to hear from them,'' said Sidharth Kapur, chief financial officer of GMR's airports division.

''We expect the settlement on the damages to happen in the next six months to one year,'' he added.

GMR has so far invested about $240 million on the project, including a debt portion of about $160 million.

While formal negotiations on the issue between the two parties are yet to commence, the legal teams of GMR are said to be addressing the issue from various angles. GMR had challenged the cancellation of the contract in a Singapore court, but lost its case.